Sunday, May 14, 2006


If wishes were horses, Jason Leopold's Karl Rove story would be riding into town behind a million Clydesdales.

I'll be one of the many popping the Champagne if it happens.


We know that Bush has scheduled a speech for tomorrow night. The topic we have been told about is immigration. But he can talk about whatever he wants.

Is immigration really Bush's biggest worry right now? I don't see it. Turdblossom is the linchpin of whatever political success Dubya has achieved. Losing him -- and an indictment is going to make it very difficult for Rove to do much of anything for the cause -- might strengthen Cheney's hand, but Bush has to be running scared.

I'm not making a prediction, but I do want to float a trial balloon -- what if Bush is planning to deliver the speech Paul Begala wrote for him @The Huffington Post last year:
Let me put this as plainly as I can: the charges against Karl Rove are false. He is an innocent man. He was a strong and steady presence at my side on September the 11th, 2001. And he has a right to defend himself, his good name, his lifetime of service to our country and his wonderful family. The charges that have been filed against him are the result of a secretive grand jury proceeding in which Karl has not been shown the evidence against him, has not been able to confront his accusers, has not even had a lawyer present when he was questioned -- a right every murderer in every police station has.

But now that the secret grand jury proceedings are over, more than anything else, Karl wants to stand up in the cold, clear light of day and defend his good name.

But here's the problem. If Karl were to explain how and why he is innocent; if he were to offer his strong and compelling defense in public, it would reveal even more of our nation's secrets. The terrorists have CNN, you know, and Karl's trial would give them a daily tutorial in just how we fight the war on terror. They would learn lessons from the trial that might allow them to attack us here at home, just as they did on September the 11th, 2001.

I cannot allow this to happen. I cannot jeopardize the lives of our fighting men and women -- no matter how much I love Karl and no matter how badly he wants to clear his name. I have not forgotten the lessons of September the 11th, 2001. And I will not allow anything to happen that makes another September the 11th, 2001 possible. And so, in an act of selfless patriotism, Karl has agreed not to offer any public defense. He has agreed to keep secret all the evidence that clears him. And he has agreed -- at my insistence -- to accept a full, free and absolute pardon.

When Begala wrote this (pre-Katrina), Bush's approval rating was still in the 40s. I don't know how people would react to that move now that Bush is at 29%. But Traitorgate just isn't a front-burner issue for Joe Sixpack -- yet. If Bush waits until after Rove is indicted, it will get harder to get away with it. If Bush pardons Rove right now, the short-term furor will be a problem, but the press corpse will chase the next shiny object within a week or so.

I hope I'm wrong. But if I were advising Bush, I'd tell him to do it now.


Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

Can someone weigh in on the issue of using the military (The National Guard is technically under Pentagon control, right?) for domestic law enforcement? We didn't cover that in elementary school civics lesson or Honor's History back in high school. I understand that it is defending our border, and as I understand it, the Border Patrol is also a Federal Agency, right? So maybe it's no big deal?

I remember being freaked out about troops at the airport when I first flew after 9/11. And I got really pissed off when I got frisked and the guy brushed my, um, special place. (I've run that scene over in my head a hundred times, and I keep saying that if it ever happens again I'm going to yell loud enough for those in line to hear, "If you touch my cock again I am going to punch you square in the mouth!") But over time, I have gotten used to it.

I'm sure there are readers who know about these issues, could someone in the know please chime in, ideally citing relevant laws?

10:52 PM  
Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

I think that sort of speech might have been effective about fifteen points ago--you know, when he was still a guy that only 58% of the American whackos--er, people disliked--but I don't think enough people trust him now to make it fly.

I also don't think he'd set himself up to have his argument publically shredded by Fitz & Co.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal (tin-foil hat inspired) theory is that Rove was indeed indicted on Friday, as TruthOut reports, but Fitz is holding the announcement until today so it didn't get buried on Friday afternoon and provide endless opportunities for the Sunday morning talk-show guest to change the subject. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the announcement steal the thunder of Dubya's speech tonight?

Sigh. Some days the only thrills I get are from my rich fantasy life!

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The armed National Guard is present at Grand Central Station too. I'd prefer them HERE rather than in Iraq or Afghanistan serving their time/country.

I see the guard on the Mexican border as closing the proverbial barn door after . . . OR ' a day late, a dollar short'.

It's about the 12 million ILLEGALS already here that's the real problem.

Begala has an ax to grind. His battle ax is Hillary Clinton. What Begala and Carville don't seem to understand is that they're history. Nothing they say is productive for today. They have a blind cause: putting money in their own bank accounts via the Hillary. So all their criticisms of Dean, and any democrat (who may be considering a 'run' in '08) are in vain. America sees right through them. In fact, I'll go as far as saying I wish Begala and Carville woould just shut up and go away!

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been thinking something along the lines of what Dr. Gail said above. I noticed at Political Wire that WSJ says Karl Rove is going to be doing a speech today on Republican strategy, so maybe not. I really hope that Begala's theory is wrong. Could be risky for a president with 29% (backwash per Colbert's standards) to be doing something so bold as to declare turd blossom is innocent when even his closest followers know the guy is a crook.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

Dr. B., I think it is important to not call our esteemed Republicans things like "Wacko." I think it was important in the last election cycle and I think most Democrats and Bush haters did not heed this advice. A lot of "left wing" programs had guests on that voted Republicans after the election. They would ask why people voted Republican. I frequently heard answers like, "Calling someone stupid or crazy for their beliefs is not going to get them to see your point of view or vote the way you want them to."

Most of the hosts were actually in denial. I remember Bill Maher and the Divine Miss Garafallo saying, "I don't (or I never) call Republicans stupid." That's like Bill O'Reilly saying he never tells anyone to "shut up."

I think this is even more important now that more people are coming to see this administration the way a lot of us have all along. I try to use phrases like, "I see you have changed your opinion," and, "In light of recent news, what do you think of King George now?"

Be kind to the blind, and be kinder to the once blind who now can see.

Also, please don't go back and review my posts looking for hypocrisy. I am aware that I probably make this mistake myself, but I'm trying hard to correct it.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, OK. You've goaded me into a small rant. You haven't got time for the long one.

Intelligence and integrity are the two things that universally get trashed in school and, then if anyone didn't get the message, on into adult (especially working) life.

Oooops! along comes a crisis, a real problem (as opposed to any kinds of political problems, which are only about who fucks who), a corner out of which there is no exit, or some other piece of dangerous reality that can no longer be ignored, and someone (esoder in this case) takes an amateur stab at integrity, ethics or chiding the lapsed intellects put on display for the public's distraction. (e.g. Bill Maher is a thin joke and easily seen through except by comparison to what else is offered publicly.)

Wackos ARE wacko. They don't ever change their minds because they don't have minds. They follow one crazy person or another but can't be said to be using intelligence, so we can't really offend them. It's not possible. What they say is only an echo. Likewise, most political "affiliations", just an attempt to run with the "in" crowd.

If you are programmed and can't break the programming, your opinions simply don't count.

Meanwhile, the Buddha may have seen the joke in trying to save humanity and I am sure that he knew his choice (non-violence) was PURELY personal. That's what it means to have free will.

Now, back to intelligence and integrity. When they are really needed, such as when you are in one of those aforementioned corners, why should you have the benefit of these qualities or of people who have them? Its a fair question. Why? We are not here refering to simple cleverness, witiness or smart people, but to actual intelligence applied by actually intelligent people to the real world.
If it gets pissed on and dissed on, why should it/they come to anyone's rescue? As I said, I'm fairly certain Buddha saw the joke in trying to save people from themselves.

So, are the questions being asked in the left blogosphere (the right doesn't ask questions) purely rhetorical, or are some truly intelligent people trying to deal with the overarching issues, those that really do impact the direction we are all heading?

How do you tell the difference? Best find out now because, if you're not one of them, you may need some new friends in the near future, and it would probably help if they were intelligent and had integrity. "Niceness" has been well and truly eradicated from intelligent people by virtue of long years of abuse. Don't expect nice. But, if you don't KEEP pissing them off they might still help, just because it makes the Buddha's joke funnier. "Kind to the blind"? Give me a break. Try being kind to the people who just might be able to save your ass.

As with sex and so many other things, it's not power or size, it's TIMING. Its not violence OR non-violence, resistance OR acquiesence, run OR freeze -- it's when and how and why. Timing with a capital T. Consistency is what THEY say you (poor people) must exhibit while they revel in the flexibility of wealth, which is rigid compared to the true freedom of choice available to people with integrity. Timing demands flexibility (ask your wife).

The public keeps itself constantly out of sync by trying to follow the bouncing ball. Fugeddaboutit. Stop vibrating and figure out a reasonable next move that doesn't sell you out.

BTW, this was only set off by esoder's latest post, by no means aimed solely at him. There are way too many self-satisfied people who have been exercising their fingers to expound on suggestions that are just more of the same advice as how we got into this corner. Wanting to do the right thing usually has no connection to doing the right thing.


11:28 AM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

I've read your comment three times, and I still can't figure out what you're so pissed about. The point I was making (or at least trying to make, maybbe it somehow didn't come across) is that calling people stupid or whacko is certainly not the best way to get them to see your point of view and vote in their own best interest.

Call 5 people stupid, and they will band together and colelctively call you an asshole and still go vote Republican. You can't change (or save)people, but you can change their opinion.

And I would argue that every opinion is valid, and yes, they are like assholes in that everyone has one. You may think their opinions don't matter, that's fine, and that's yyour opinion. But their votes do.

My kid is 13, and he makes mistakes. And we try to correct his mistakes. Calling him stupid and sending him to his room does not help him learn how to do a math problem correctly. Telling him he's an idiot when he drops a plate while doing the dishes does not teach him to be more careful tomorrow night. But sitting with him and showing how to do the problem correctly ensures that he will get it right on the test when it matters. And making him pay for the plate that he broke out of his allowance will make him be more careful in the future.

My neighbor is a Republican. Actually, most of my community is Republican. Anyway, he's also a Sheriff's Deputy. And he loved Bush when I moved here two years ago and voted for him twice. Now that he is coming around and realizing it was a mistake, should I say, "See how stupid you are?" Should I tell him he's too whacko to vote and should stay home?

I think that when we encounter people who are realizing that this administration is government for the elite and by the elite, it is an opportunity to build from there and provide them with information now that they are open to hearing it.

I wish I had a better alternative than today's Democratic party. We are nearly as bad (ethically) but just not as good at it. My hope is that we can take back Congress and demand that this administration be held accountable for all that it has done. And I hope that legislation will be passed to undo much of what has been done (bankruptcy bills, energy policy, Iraq, NCLB, the EPA, etc.)

As they are waking up to how costly and wrong this war is, it's time to share with them the other things we do with our military. AS they realize how our tax dollars are wasted, it's time to show them where the money goes and how little the rich pay. It's time to start talking about class and not just the poverty gap. All of us have a lot more in common with the poverty stricken than we do with the people running this country.

How when they vote Republican because they are motivated by abortion rights or immigration or gay marriage that they are voting for things that don't affect them every day and hurting themselves and their children in the process.

I don't claim to be a professional, and I wasn't talking about ethics. If anything, I am guilty of attempts at manipulation. People are starting to wake up on their own, and I think that we need to grab their attention and get a better message across. People are not stupid and unethical. They are ignorant and misinformed. The important thing, I think, is to get them to stop ignoring and start getting the information they need to make informed decisions.

As for Buddha, well, I think Buddhism can be light hearted, but I don't see any real joke. There's the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Noble Path to Enlightenment. What's funny about that?

The sitting practice of meditation might seem whacko to others, but it works for me when I practice it.

Can I be a lay Buddhist non-violent anarchist? Sure I can, this is still America.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever seen a frowning Buddha? Of course not. What do you mean "where's the joke?" Buddha tells you to examine yourself. Look in a _____.

What, you say they (the wackos) are uninformed? How did that happen? Isn't there a point in life where one assumes responsibilty for the content of one's head? What is their excuse? If you can't correct your mistakes, there is no way in hell you can be given credit for an opinion. Opinions presume the abiltiy to actually change and shape the contents of one's mind without simply following the crowd. In fact, we don't call follwing the crowd a change of mind. We call it a change of heart. That's because everything that isn't thought based on integrity is simply emotional reactions (heartbeats). Too bad the emotional side gets to vote. That's not politics, it's a horror movie. Who scares you more? On the bright side, nobody's votes count any more.

You cannot stop a stampede. If you are worried about stampedes, you'd better figure out how to prevent them. The "crowd" is always wrong.

Esoder, last chance. The system CANNOT be fixed. Only replaced. As long as you nibble at the edges, hoping someone will do the heavy lifitng in the middle, you will never see the futility of ANY attempt at repair.

Unfortunately, I think the shock of living in another country might be too much. You have to be able to challenge ALL of your own ideas, else external circumstances can cause your head to break. Really. Ask Doctor Bloor. On second thought, he seems to specialize in sports psychology and teeth grinding about the Democrats, just like you.

Why am I so pissed? Because my whole life people have been saying "Why are you upset?" and THEN a month, or years, later they say "Oh, you were right THEN, but you can't be serious about this new thing NOW! Why are you upset NOW? It's just a small ____. Nothing to worry about. Relax! Calm down. Trust your parents, the principal/president/draft board/politicians/city council/wisdom of the people... It's their town/city/school/country too." Unfortunately those are the excuses for the last five wars and the greatest accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few EVER. This is not like other times. You don't know what will happen if you don't act. It won't be okay if you just do your bit, just vote, just play by the rules (do you know what those rules say?). It won't be okay judging by the results to date. I don't claim the sky is falling, I just know that you can't say it isn't and be telling the truth. If you think there are only some minor flaws to be fixed you will later cry "Who could have known?" YOU coulda.

I am not a mind reader or a fortune teller, I just don't close my eyes and amazingly, all is revealed. Enlightenment simply means leaving the light on.

A little integrity makes up for a lot of IQ points. Don't lie to yourself. Lie to others if you must, but DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF. Keep watching, keep breathing.


7:10 AM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

TA - With what would you replace this system?

Monarchy? Communism? Anarchy? Is there some new system you have in mind that nobody's thought of yet?

And how would you go about replacing it? Would civil war work? Revolt? Armed insurrection? Fight Club "fuck shit up" antics?

What makes you think these are unique times? I used to feel that way in college, that things were as bad as they could be and we needed to throw out the Government and start fresh. I discussed this with one of my lit professors who pointed out that people have felt that way for centuries. Every generation has a new reason to believe the world will end tomorrow, but it just keeps on turning. We might all die, sure, but the world will keep on turning and be perfectly happy without us.

A lack of integrity with a lot of IQ points does more damage than the village idiot with a pipe bomb.

Things are cyclical, and this reign of error (and terror) is coming to an end. The Republicans always go too far, and people eventually catch on, and vote them out. Nixon, well, he was pardoned. Reagan/Bush, well, they failed to investigate. This time, we need to demand of our leaders that they investigate and prosecute the previous administration. That's something I will go out and march for. I'm encouraged by the fact that some are already under indictment.

Buddha link - smiling from a distance, frowning up close.

Try Googling Buddha and clicking on Images. You'll see him in a variety of shapes, sizes, and moods - not just the fat smiling depiction found on trinkets in Chinatown.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it all just goes round in a big circle, why are you worrying. What is the meaning of your posts here? Life just IS.

If it ISN'T, if you think you can have any effect, what are your criteria for where to start? How can you rule out any course of action until you've actually explored the options?

For "meaning well" to have meaning, you must give it meaning. It ain't automatic.

There is only one thing on your side that I can see at the moment. It is the following: The "good" MUST arise out of the "not so good". There is nowhere else it could come from. Notice I DID NOT say in OPPOSITION to the not-so-good, I said OUT of it. So, if this not so good situation will change and you are a part of it, HOW will it change? As a friend of mine said "...just making beautiful things out of shit. What else is there to do?" This ain't evolution here, it's my/your/everyone's life and we have the responsibility to make this change AS INDIVIDUALS. If we reject this responsibility, we cannot ever complain about how we are treated by the rest of the cosmos.

These may not be unique times, but they are my times and I see that humans CAN have an irreversible impact (in human terms and scale) on the rest of the planet. How do we lose by being as aware as we can, AS THOUGH we were in unique times and near the end? Does sleeping through the end keep it from happening?

Exercising integrity costs the OWNER in its exercise (not others). Intellect isn't very bright if it runs out of integrity (decides the cost is too high). On the other hand, integrity doesn't mean much if you can be fooled by the intellect of others. The two must go together or neither is real.

You ask (approximately) "What would you replace the current system with?" I say, you must be joking. The current system benefits only a few, and then badly. You seem to be among them or you would not ask that question! Only people still living get to ask questions. Start at the beginning and ignore the systems that have long track records of failure. It's impossible to do worse. Really! Tens of millions of totally needless deaths EACH year and no one seriously saying NO. How to behave, again: reject what clearly doesn't work. If you feel that the current system ain't ALL that bad after all, I refer you to the first paragraph.

"Collective action" is an illusion. Buddha will tell you that. There's just you and the rest of everything that is not you.

Find a pile of shit and go to work making something beautiful.


1:42 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

TA, you are fast becoming my pile of shit out of which I am trying to make beautiful things. Anything is better than this? OK, the U.S. under Saddam, there's an idea. Or better yet, we could put you in charge.

All of us benefit from the system that we have. I can feel relatively safe walking around at night wherever I go, for example. But as I said in a previous post, everyone reading this blog has more in common with the beggar on the corner than those who benefit from the present administration. I have a job, my wife has a job, my kid goes to school and my dogs bark at the neighborhood cats. I mowed my lawn today. I drove my 11 year old car down to the store too pick up a sprinkler head and something for dinner. Pretty normal. The only thing that is different about my situation is that I can't stand commuting and working in an office 40+ hours a week. So I did what I had to do to be able to provide for my family while working from home. That gives me a couple of extra hours every day to try to change the world.

And seriously, you know fuck-all about Buddhism. The idea that there is me and all that is not me? The duality is the illusion. Start with all life is suffering and go from there. Wikipedia has lots of good information.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your suffering, living in the middle of all those republicans as you do.

Good luck. Life is good.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

Was that last 'A' "TA" or just another A?

And how's this one for dialog Mr. BM? Although we may as well have been e-mailing since nobody else really chimed in. And nobody answered my original question either.

Whatever. I have enjoyed our correspondence and it's given me some new ideas to chew over. And I put Deacons of Defense and The Long Kiss Goodnight at the top of my NetFlix queue.

Thanks for engaging TA.

11:29 PM  
Blogger bluememe said...

To get back to your original question, esoder, there is something called the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the military from acting as a domestic police force. If we had a government that believed in the rule of law, that would present some problems unless the border thing is carefully handled.

And yeah, it does my heart good to see discussions like this going on. Sorry I missed most of it....

5:03 PM  

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